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Add a pinch of humility

September 7, 2011


I do not have any pictures to add to today’s post. I know this is a rare moment, it was a busy day but not in the way of doing things. During an attempt to get G to take an afternoon nap, a neighbor came over for a chat. She began telling me about her days as a Navy wife, living on base, raising two boys on a tight, tight budget and what it took to be a wife and mother back then.

She told me about feeding a family on what would today be less than $20 a week – a family of four. She told me of sewing, mending, darning and weaving, of using last years socks to re-knit into this years socks. She described the sense of community and how every family knew each other, how they would put food up for the winters and use every last scrap of materials to not have to buy anything.

This conversation hit a note for me today. Lately I have been having an issue with priorities – what, exactly, is the right direction for our family of three – soon to be four. I love putting food up, gardening, knitting, and cooking from scratch. I enjoy the frugality of our lifestyle, I enjoy knowing that I am being both kind to my budget and true to my own ethics.

Yet there are many days when I dream and stray to a more “convenient” lifestyle. Why couldn’t I use more pre-packaged meals, more frozen snacks and more store bought goodies? If I could just switch to a more ready made lifestyle maybe I would have more time to do other things – maybe get a gym membership, maybe run more, maybe be more stylish, polish my nails, visit trendy restaurants – yes, the list goes on and on.

The only problem is, that I’ve lived that life. I grew up living the convenient life with drive thru’s and nail salons. For many, many years that was all I knew – until I realized that there might be a different direction for my life to go. I dreamed of a farm, a family and a home – a real home where it was made and not bought. A home with consistency and a rhythm. It might not always be perfect ( in fact, ours is far from perfect most of the time!) but it is comfortable and cozy and easy.

My neighbor’s stories helped remind me that while it may no longer be the 1960’s, many of the family values still apply today.  She helped me remember to sort my priorities, remember what is most important to our little family and be present in today. She helped me remember that while we sacrifice for our children, the rewards are hundredfold the effort given.  And,  while sometimes the easy road looks shiny and fun, it is often the bumpy road that leads to the best swimming hole.

 

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